Cruising to Traverse city was almost as calm as it gets and we were happy to show our passengers that the trip is downright pleasant most of the time. So much so, that Alison felt comfortable taking the wheel for a while.
We were able to explore Traverse City for a day or so with Grant and Alison before they returned to the real world. Some people have to work.
Traverse City is probably one of the best areas to spend a week, and we did just that. It has a plethora of good restaurants, breweries, wineries, and last but not least, some of the most beautiful lake scenery I’ve ever laid eyes upon (sorry to end that whole sentence with a preposition-forgive me).
We rode our bikes to a “complex” that had previously been a massive mental hospital but is now filled with lovely condos, shopping and restaurants. On our way back to the boat, we noticed a musical trio on the roof of an establishment. Come to find out, Traverse City was celebrating Porch Fest. This consists of different bands and musicians playing on people’s porches around the neighborhood. I think we need to incorporate this festival in Springfield somehow.
As we checked out the forecast for the next few days we made the decision to stay put, knowing that it might be a week or so before we could be on the move again. Because the forecast called for gale-force winds, we were confident in our decision.
When I say “gale force winds” I mean winds at 30-40mph. Now are these the gales that took down the Edmund Fitzgerald? I don’t know but I’m not finding out. I will say that the winds were strong enough to rock us in our slip to the point that we could not sleep. We talked about checking into a hotel one night just to be on stable ground for awhile. We didn’t. We’re rebels like that.
We made the decision to rent a car and explore some Michigan goodness. Our route took us east along the water through vineyards and orchards all along the way. We found remnants of small towns in the form of boarded up buildings and old school houses and churches. Some repurposed into wineries or shops, others left to nature.
After stopping for some Michigan apples and visiting Lighthouse Park we settled for a spell at Mari winery for some refreshing wine and a bit of charcuterie (that’s meat and cheese for those who are asking). Mari is situated on the top of a hill with lake and vineyard views for miles.
Overall, the vibe here is very outdoorsy with lots of walking, biking and wine trails, water sports, beaches, and forests. There is a little bit of awesomeness for everyone. We consider ourselves fortunate that this is where we were “stuck” for awhile.
We endured three days and two nights of that before things calmed down. We began to make plans to head out on Sunday, September 26th after being in Traverse City for 9 days.
Stay tuned for a seriously cute fishing village and some major dunes.